Icahn: A Partial IPO of PayPal Would Be Best for Ebay

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Carl Icahn, Herbalife, Netflix

Activist investor Carl Icahn has called upon eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) to sell around 20 percent of its PayPal unit to public investors; Icahn has been publicly feuding with eBay for weeks now. His current demands are a step back from previously when the investor pressed the company spin off PayPal entirely, calling for a complete separation of the two businesses, according to a Reuters report Wednesday.

“PayPal is a tremendous company, but it is on the verge of going to war against strong adversaries, and only with the benefits of being an independent company … will PayPal be capable of winning that war,” he said in a blog post Wednesday.

According to Icahn’s blog, partially divesting PayPal would highlight the company’s value whilst forcing the unit’s management to focus more on day-to-day operations. He added that eBay and PayPal should have separate boards in order to avoid conflicts of interest, according to a New York Times report.

Previously Icahn has argued that eBay’s board isn’t serving its shareholders as well as it should; naming names of chairpersons who he says are particularly responsible. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Intuit’s chair Scott Cook, he said, have conflicts of interest.

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